MDCA needs support to assist agencies such as FRDC to deliver key messages to the wider community and industry partners. Other organisations such as OceanWatch Australia, SeaNet, RedMap and a number of universities will also benefit. MDCA is seeking funding to enable 2 representatives from each Centre to cover costs associated with an annual network meeting. Each Centre hosts the annual event at their Centre, in a diverse range of marine bioregions around Australia.
Julie Haldane from FRDC has attended a number of network meetings and Peter Horvat attended the meeting in Queenscliff in 2009.
This application also addresses the following priority questions in the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Plan: Marine Biodiversity and Resources:
1. Aquaculture: many Centres are located in areas supporting aquaculture industries. We are a link with these industries direct to FRDC and provide information to assist them to adapt to climate change impacts.
2. Commercial and Recreational Fishing: Some Centres work closely with industry representatives in community based research projects. The Centres are a central contact point for industry and community members to access data and research results that may address key issues for their specific adaptation needs.
3. Conservation Management: Marine Discovery Centres are well-placed to deliver up-to-date educational material about the changes occuring in the marine and coastal environment.
4. Tourism and recreational needs: As above, MDCs are considered by the tourism industry as a link to important information about the impacts of climate change, both on capital assets as well as the environments in which they operate. All MDCs are located in key coastal regions and are a respected source of key information.
5. Cross-cutting issues: MDCs are central points that link research institutions, Govt agencies, industry and local communities to deliver important adaptation messages.